Lectures will be in English. There will usually be a lecture on Monday and Wednesday; Friday's class will often take the form of small-group discussions and presentations when students will present the results of their reading and research.
Assignments: Each student will prepare
two scrapbooks or a Home Page containing the pictures detailed
in the boxes below, each picture being accompanied by a short explanatory
text. The source of each picture is to be shown. (Visit Brother
Anthony's list of Classical
Each student will write two reports, as detailed below, one for the Monday after the Mid-term exams, the second for the Monday after the Final exams.
To avoid misunderstandings, please note that any portions of text downloaded from the Web must be clearly indicated as such, with the source.
The main text book will be the new
edition of Brother Anthony's Classical and Biblical Backgrounds
to Western Literature(Sogang University Press).
The Page Numbers refer to the New Edition of the textbook
Week 1: Pages 7 - 30 Early civilisations
Week 2: Pages 153 - 164 The
Greek gods Pages 31 - 54 Illiad
Topics for discussion : What are the characteristic features of the gods? In what sense are Priam and Achilles 'heroic'? Is Odysseus heroic or comic or both? How do you interpret the way the reunited couple react at the end?
Week 3: Pages 59 - 72 History
of Greece, Athens
Topic for discussion: What were the main steps in the development of Athenian democracy? Was it a good system, a limited one, a bad one? Compare Athens with Sparta: where would you rather have lived? Why?
Week 4: Pages 73 - 87 Philosophy
Topic for discussion: What developments of the notion of god, cosmos, man do you find? How did philosophy develop toward science and theory? Why do people still study Pre-Socratic Philosophy?
Week 5: Pages 88 - 104 Socrates,
Topics for research and discussion: What were Socrates' main concerns? What are the main ideas in the Phaedo, Symposium, Republic? In what main ways did Aristotle differ from Plato? Was Plato a better philosopher than Aristotle? Why do people still study them?
Week 6: Pages 105 - 144 Greek
Drama & Lyric Poetry
The Oresteia and Prometheus Bound, Oedipus and Antigone
Topic for discussion: What is a 'tragedy'? What motivates the main characters? What message do the plays give? What picture do they give of the gods and of human life?
Week 7: Mid-term Exams
|Subjects for the first part of the Scrapbook
/ home page:
(Due on the day of the Mid-term Exam)
1. Ancient civilisations: Stonehenge, Babylon, Egyptian pyramids, Egyptian sculpture.
2. Writing systems: Cuneiform writing, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew and Greek alphabets.
3. Myths and art: Statues of the major gods, paintings inspired by Greek myths, statues of personifications...
4. Greek art: Greek theater; Greek sculpture before 480 BC, the Parthenon and its sculptures, other temples, a Grecian Urn, the "Venus de Milo". Busts of the great Greek philosophers and writers....
|First Report: What are some of the main themes found in Greek
literature and philosophy? What attitude to nature, to human life? To the
Which work have you found most worth reading? Why?
Week 8: Pages 165 - 188 Myths
and tales of men and gods
Topic for discussion : What kind of gods do the Greek myths describe? What image of human life?
Weeks 9 -10 Pages 189 - 222 Rome
Topic for research & discussion How does Cicero's text challenge today's society? What do you think about his ideas? What are the main ideas of Stoicism, Cynicism, and Epicureanism? What was the reason for the enduring influence of Rome in European culture?
Weeks 11 - 12: Pages 223 - 262 The Old Testament
Weeks 12 - 13: Pages 263 - 294 The
Topic for discussion: What is meant by the words Apocalypse, eschaton, kerygma, ekklesia, anastasis, koinonia? What did New Testament writers understand by Agape? What is the main Christian message?
Weeks 14 - 15: Pages 295 - 318 The
Topic for discussion: How and why do you think Christianity become the official religion of the later Roman Empire? How was it changed in the process? Was it still true to the teaching of Jesus? Why were Augustine and Boethius so important?
|Subjects for second part of Scrapbook
/ home page:
Due on the Monday of the 15th Week of the semester (June 5)
1. Rome: the Forum, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Senate House, the Capitol...
2. Judaism: Mt Sinai, Jerusalem in Old Testament times, the Temple, nomadic life in the Middle East, a Jewish synagogue, the Hebrew Bible, modern Judaism, the Holocaust...
3. New Testament: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (and site of Calvary, in Jerusalem), the Mount of Olives, River Jordan...
4. Church history: The tomb of St Peter, the Catacombs, early Christian art, the great basilicas in Rome, the first monasteries, the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament...
|Second Report: Summarize what you see as the main steps in the evolution of the European (Graeco-Roman and Judeo-Christian combined) concepts of the nature of the divine, of human identity, and of nature, and of the relationship between them. What has become of those concepts today? For you?|
If you have questions you may write
to Brother Anthony or visit him in his office (X109)